Gunman Mohamed Merah 'To Be Buried In France'; Algerian Authorities Denies Permission

Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah is to be buried in France after Algerian authorities denied permission for a burial, a French Muslim official says.

Gunman Mohamed Merah 'To Be Buried In France'

Gunman's Brother On 'Preliminary Charges'

Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah is to be buried in France after Algerian authorities denied permission for a burial, a French Muslim official says.

Abdallah Zekri, of the Muslim Council of France, said Algeria had cited security as the reason for its refusal.

He told AFP news agency that Merah's family had asked him to organise the funeral within 24 hours.

Family members had been hoping to escort Merah's body to Algeria, where the family is originally from.

The family had planned to hold the funeral in the municipality of Souagui, about 80km (50 miles) south of the capital, Algiers.

Merah, 23, killed seven people, including three children, in south-western France before he was shot dead in a siege at his home last week.

Police have found an abandoned car near Toulouse with possible links to Merah and the attacks, French media say.

Scooter

The car was discovered by residents late on Wednesday in St Papoul, a village near the town of Castelnaudary, the Midilibre regional daily reported.

The grey Renault Clio contained parts of a Yamaha Tmax scooter identified as the same type thought to have been used by Merah to travel to the scenes of the murders, reports say.

The car's owner has been identified as a man living in the same Toulouse block of flats as Merah, France 3 TV quoted a source close to the investigation as saying.

French newspapers say the discovery supports theories that Merah may have had an accomplice.

The killer's elder brother, Abdelkader Merah, is said to have told investigators that a third man was present with the pair when the scooter used in the attacks was stolen, Le Parisien newspaper reports.

Merah died in a police assault on his flat in Toulouse on 22 March after a 32-hour siege. He had killed three soldiers in two separate attacks before shooting dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school.

Merah, born in France of Algerian descent, is said to have told police he wanted to avenge Palestinian children and to attack the French army because of its foreign interventions.

His father, Mohamed Benalal Merah, has said he has hired an Algerian lawyer to sue French special police over his son's death.